One word that’s usually attributed to Laurence Fishburne in just about any role you might have seen him in is ‘cultured’. This doesn’t mean he’s always the high-brow, by the book type, but he’s been seen as a thinking man for a long time now and most of his characters have taken on the same persona. I won’t even say that as a black man he’s one of the most serious and down to earth people in film, but Fishburne has a way about him that promotes the idea that he isn’t like a lot of other people in that he’s a lot more cerebral than others and is able to think around corners at a speed that’s simply uncanny sometimes. Whether it’s just an act he has on stage or he’s truly like this in real life is hard to tell but when he’s on the screen you usually get the inclination to pay attention since he usually has some very heavy words to unload and it’s worth your time to listen and absorb what he’s preaching.
Here are five of his best movies to date.
5. Event Horizon
As a science fiction/horror movie this didn’t get enough attention I believe since it was there and gone in the theaters so quick that a lot of people wouldn’t even know what you’re talking about upon bringing it up. But Event Horizon is undeniably creepy since it has to do with a state of the art spacecraft that is initially lost before the movie gets started, an ‘accident’ that is recorded as one of the biggest on record. When it comes back though it’s soon revealed that the ship didn’t come back alone, but the presence that it returned with is something so diabolical and overwhelmingly evil that simply setting foot on the ship is tantamount to suicide.
A lot of these individuals in the movie did in fact exist back in the day, and some of the story is pretty accurate. But as it usually happens Hollywood takes what might have been a little more mundane and jazz’s it up with its own brand of the dramatic. The numbers game was a big thing at one time, but it was also a deadly prospect in this movie since the idea of taking money from the hands of one gangster was grounds for just about anything from a beatdown to an assassination. Bumpy Johnson and Dutch Schultz, along with Lucky Luciano, started a war on the streets of Harlem that soon spilled over into other parts of the city as they continually vied for control of the numbers racket, not seeming to care who got caught in the crossfire.
3. The Matrix
The one downfall of the Matrix was that Morpheus started out being something of a ghost, an enigma that didn’t seem to be on the verge of being solved. When he was proven to be just another man however, via the beatdown by Agent Smith, his legend didn’t diminish that much, but the character did start to take a back seat to Neo. It was the way it was supposed to be of course but at the same time it kind of felt like the character got downgraded a bit where in the beginning of the film he was the wise, all-knowing individual that was seemingly the baddest guy on the ship. But when you’re seeking the One it’s usually natural that your own role is going to lessen once that individual starts to believe in themselves.
One thing about college is that it teaches you that you don’t know anything on your way in, no matter if you think you know it all. You can have a 4.0 GPA and be well-versed in what it’s like to live on campus and still be in over your head once you arrive since college life is nothing like high school. No one there is required to care about you, no one is going to hold your hand, and the outside world is waiting and ready to swallow you up if you can’t hack it. And that’s just the academic side of college, the rest of it is an invitation to the real world beyond school that a lot of people simply aren’t ready to face yet.
Life on the streets is tough when you don’t abide by its laws. Furious is the kind of guy that will gladly educate his fellows but is also the person that wants it known that life is a thinking person’s game. He does his best to educate his son and those that seek his advice, but throughout the movie it’s proven that as much as he preaches and as much as people want out, it’s hard to leave once they’re caught in the kind of life that offers only a few solid options to those that don’t just up and leave.
Laurence is a gifted actor, but in recent years it almost seems like he’s slowed down just a bit, as though he’s relaxing and enjoying life.